2023-2024 / GEST3763-1

Funding sustainability


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Sybille Mertens de Wilmars

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

  • Course description
Building a sustainable economic system means designing its operation within environmental and social boundaries. The former define the conditions for the sustainability of human life on earth. The latter define the global consensus on what underpins human society. Understanding this framework, however, is not enough to bring our economic activities within it. The "Financing Sustainability" course analyzes why corporate sustainability involves a major financial challenge: which players and financing mechanisms can support sustainable business choices? The course adopts a critical stance that aims to analyze the links between sustainable finance, sustainable development and ecological transition.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will have been specifically led to:

  • Understand the concept of sustainability, both at the level of the economic system and at the level of individual enterprises.
  • Link unsustainable behaviors to market failures
  • Understand the financial implications of sustainability ambitions
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the main private and public mechanisms for financing sustainability
  • Develop critical thinking on the links between sustainable finance, corporate sustainability and ecological transition.

These achievements are part of the generic achievements of the HEC Master in Management Sciences, as they help students to:

  • Draw up a strategy (with a view to sustainability)
  • Translate strategy into operational terms and plan its implementation
  • Apply a holistic approach to performance control
  • Communicate effectively on the corporate project
  • Adapt managerial practices to an ever-changing world, by developing both an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to grasp economic, social and environmental issues.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

  • Students must be able to express themselves in French or English and must be able to read fluently French and English.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is designed as a seminar in which participants are strongly encouraged to adopt a proactive attitude to building their own knowledge.

Learning activities include : 

  • Co-construction of the course (content, media, choice of external speakers
  • Scientific readings prior to sessions and discussed in class
  • Readings/podcasts prior to sessions and discussed in class
  • Meetings with experts in sustainability financing
  • Case studies
  • A master class as part of Climate Week (COP 28)
  • An activity linking science and culture

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

The teaching method is mixed. The course is mainly based on face-to-face teaching (introduction to the readings, discussion of the readings) and students will also be invited to prepare the discussions sessions through guided home readings (instructions via the lol @ platform).

Recommended or required readings

The course will use the virtual interface Lol @, on which will be mailed:

  • Powerpoint introductions to the different readings
  • Powerpoint summaries of the discussion sessions
  • Compulsory references for each discussion session
  • Additional references (which reading is recommended but not compulsory)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

- Remote

oral exam

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

Assessment will combine three elements

  • Group work: preparation and moderation of a class session (50%)
  • Individual assessment for participation in other sessions (10%)
  • Individual grading via oral examination (40%).
In the second session, the assessment consists solely of an oral examination.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course takes place in the first term, Friday morning at HEC - N1a (room 015) rue Louvrex .

First session : Oct 6 2023


Prof. Sybille Mertens, Centre d'Economie Sociale - HEC Université de Liège - N1d 5th floor - smertens@uliege.be

Secretary (Mrs Jourdan) : nathalie.jourdan@uliege.be

Teaching assistant : Romain David - r.david@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs